The risk of confusing diversity with inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are two terms that are definitely interconnected but don’t mean the same things. 

A diverse work environment is one where groups of people with different backgrounds, ethnicities, capabilities, genders, and more, integrate and work cohesively. On the other hand, an inclusive work environment ensures that the diverse team feels valued, included, and appreciated in the workplace. 

When companies confuse diversity with inclusion, managers and team leaders could create a work environment that doesn’t genuinely make their diverse workforce feel like they belong. As a result, certain employees might not feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work or even staying with the company in the long run.

This blog post will cover how diversity and inclusion differ and how you can ensure both in the work environment.

Diversity And Inclusion: What’s The Difference, And How Can We Ensure Both?

Diversity is the “what,” and inclusion is the “how.” 

Diversity is about what kind of people make up an organization’s workforce. A diverse workplace should employ people from all walks of life – different age groups, religions, disabilities, sexualities, etc. On the other hand, inclusion is about how a company makes its diverse employees feel. An inclusive workplace is one in which every employee is given equal opportunities. This way, every employee feels valued, appreciated, and understood. 

Organizations often want to boost diversity in the workplace without prioritizing inclusion and the foundation needed to create a diverse workplace. As a result, hiring more women or other minority groups doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things if your company’s culture doesn’t truly embrace diversity and inclusion. This also makes it difficult for companies to achieve a long-term diverse work environment. 

Organizations can ensure diversity and inclusion in the workplace by training their leaders and managers. This way, managers are aware of potential biases and can set clear standards for employees in the workplace. Organizations can also implement diverse interview panels to show potential employees that the company prioritizes diversity and inclusion. 

Moreover, organizations should ensure that women and people of color are being promoted at the same rates and are paid equally for similar jobs and responsibilities. 

Another way to boost inclusion in the office is by introducing employee feedback surveys. This way, managers can uncover how employees feel and discover ways to improve certain business processes. 

Does Diversity = Inclusion?

Put simply, diversity is not the same as inclusion – there are two distinct processes businesses need to adopt to achieve inclusion and diversity.

However, many companies assume that workplace diversity is achieved once the recruitment team has hired people from varied demographics. As a result, they can check off the diversity box, making their annual report look impressive. But it isn’t that simple.

Organizations also need to adopt systems to counter bias, stereotypes, and prejudice to create a work environment that’s truly diverse and inclusive. Moreover, companies need to invest in employee resource groups, team-based decision-making processes, managerial training, D&I committees, etc. 

Consequently, it’s not enough to just hire people of different ethnicities, religions, genders, and sexualities. Organizations can only reap the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace once they invest in inclusion. Additionally, companies that invest in inclusion often outpace their competitors since their various employees feel a sense of belonging and psychological safety. This way, every employee feels confident enough to contribute to team meetings, projects, problem-solving processes, and more.

If you want to improve your company’s workplace diversity and inclusion, visit the Corporate Class website today. 

We over bespoke services that allow you to create an inclusive and diverse workplace while simultaneously boosting employee engagement and productivity.

The top challenges of diversity and inclusion

Interested in the challenges of diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

An inclusive and diverse workplace offers many valuable benefits for every organization. A diverse workplace gives employees a sense of belonging, and it allows companies to solve problems with unique insights and different perspectives. 

Moreover, an inclusive work environment can boost employee engagement as diverse employees feel accepted and valued. This, in turn, also reduces turnover rates and improves productivity.

But bringing a diverse group of people from different backgrounds can also bring about many challenges for organizations.

This blog post will cover some of the main challenges of creating an inclusive workplace.

Communication issues

There can be several reasons for communication issues in diverse teams. For example, language barriers, people who have hearing impairments, or even different communication styles and generational preferences. As a result, it’s crucial to address these issues before they hamper team productivity and business goals. 

An easy and effective way to address some issues is to create clear communication channels and set communication standards. For example, there might be generational differences in communication preferences where the younger staff prefers communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack, while the older team prefers emailing and phone calls. 

You can combat this challenge by stipulating when the team should use communication software and when phone calls and emails are needed. 

Additionally, if there are teammates who are struggling to follow discussions in meetings either because the language used is their second language or due to hearing loss issues, team leaders should ask team members to speak slowly and clearly. This way, all the attendees feel comfortable enough to contribute to the meeting.

Discrimination

The more diverse team members you have, the more likely your employees will experience biases, discrimination, and harassment. Consequently, some employees might not feel like they can bring their authentic selves to work since they’re afraid of being judged. Discrimination can hinder creativity, teamwork, and innovation.

Stereotypes and prejudice

It’s not uncommon for team members in diverse teams to experience some form of prejudice and stereotyping. Unfortunately, this can result in groups not communicating effectively or using stereotypes to avoid collaborating with their teammates.

Additionally, some team members may have particular views on a religion, race, culture, or even practice. This can also lead to ineffective team communication, isolation, and disjointedness in teams. 

You can combat this challenge by setting strict guidelines via a Code of Conduct. Additionally, you should mention that discrimination and prejudice will not be tolerated in the workplace during the onboarding and recruitment processes. 

Less trust

Diverse teams should have people from minority groups. However, these employees could feel as though they are mistreated compared to the employees from the major groups. As a result, they may think that senior staff members treat the major groups better. 

Consequently, the people from the minority groups might feel afraid to raise their concerns, work towards promotions, or voice their ideas and opinions, especially when they’re new to the job or in junior positions. This also hinders team creativity, and productivity since some employees in your diverse workforce aren’t giving their all during team meetings and other discussions. 

You can boost trust and transparency in your team by employing leaders who make every team member feel included, accepted, and valued. This way, every employee can trust the company and get a sense of physiological safety. 

If you want to improve your company’s workplace diversity and inclusion, visit the Corporate Class website today. 

We over bespoke services that allow you to create an inclusive and diverse workplace while simultaneously boosting employee engagement and productivity.